Mariposa Cruises’ guest Marg Koop recalls her experience aboard the Captain Matthew Flinders last year for The New Classical 96.3 FM Summer Cruise on the Toronto Harbour. Join us again this summer for the 2nd Annual Classical 96.3 FM Cruise on August 18th. 

Boarding the Classical 96.3FM Summer Cruise

The 1st annual Classical 96.3 Summer Cruise with Mariposa Cruises on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 was an enchanting evening. My friend and I were among the many classical music fans and avid listeners of the New Classical 96.3FM radio station who had traveled down to the Toronto harbourfront for an evening of classical music and fine dining while cruising on the Toronto Harbour.

We were blessed with exceptionally warm clear weather, which made the outside deck that much more enjoyable for taking in the marvellous Toronto skyline and snapping photos of it.

The skyline was especially beautiful and colourful after the sunset, with the neon illumination of it and a whimsical crescent moon decorating the sky.

Classical 96.3FM summer cruise sunset

After boarding the Captain Matthew Flinders, we were greeted and welcomed by morning radio hosts Jean Stillwell and Mike Duncan, who were our hosts for the evening.

Jean Stillwell and Mike Duncan welcome guests aboard the Classical 96.3FM Summer Cruise

Following some introductory announcements after we were seated at our dining tables we were invited to join the radio hosts on the outside deck for a fun classical music trivia quiz and prizes. Audience response was enthusiastic. The questions were relatively easy and the prizes were quite generous, including tickets to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Koerner Hall.

Although I participated, I did not win any prizes. Later, before dinner Jean, Mike and A Little Night Music host John Van Driel circulated to welcome guests and engage them in a short conversation.
The dinner was served by friendly and courteous servers and the generous portions of food were delicious and artfully presented. Two appetizers, including a spring roll with a tangy dip and a meat filled croissant were followed by a garden salad and a selection of artisan breads and rolls.

Classical 96.3FM Summer Cruise trivia

Guests were offered a choice of beef or chicken the day before the cruise via email. My friend and I selected the top sirloin. It was artfully arranged on the plate along with mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, a sprig of steamed broccoli and asparagus tossed with herb butter.

A cash bar was also available. I chose a glass of Pinot Noir and my friend accompanied her dinner with a glass of Chardonnay. Dessert was a mini cheese cake topped with slices of apple sprinkled with cinnamon with an artfully presented sliced strawberry and a white cherry garnish. Coffee and tea were served at the end.

Dinner aboard the Classical 96.3FM Summer Cruise

I was impressed with the friendly manner with which the servers circulated, making conversation with individuals seated alone at a table and helping them feel at ease.

To add to the romantic nature of the evening, there was a marriage proposal on the outside deck after dinner. We were all invited to witness it, adding to the celebratory atmosphere of the event.

Marriage proposal aboard the Classical 96.3FM Summer Cruise

The selection of music was especially fitting for the evening – light, happy and beautiful. Memorable selections included Debussy’s Claire de lune and opera duets from Lakme and The pearl fishers. I heartily recommend this cruise for anyone, especially classical music fans.


About the Author Marg Koop

About the Author:

Marg Koop is recently retired from a 38 year career in the library at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She grew up with classical music, having studied piano. Her other musical interests include opera and choral music. She is an avid supporter of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and appreciates the selection of classical and crossover music heard on Classical 96.3FM.